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“Two weeks and five days. That’s how fast it took my dad.”

Man and child
By BobbieJo Hudgins

Jasper, FL
United States

My life changed tremendously on August 7, 2020. At 8 AM that morning, we received the call from the hospital telling us that my dad had passed away. I am hurting so bad. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. My dad’s name is William Laney and he was 70 years old when he passed, but he was very active and I never dreamed of the day that he would be taken away.  

When this coronavirus pandemic started I thought everyone was just making a big deal out of nothing — making it sound much worse than it really was and that it would just stop and everything would go back to normal. I just didn’t take any of this seriously. My dad took every precaution there was and still managed to contract the virus.  

I never saw this coming. I know that sounds crazy, me saying that, but I guess it was the first and only time I realized that it now affected me. I didn’t even know anyone who had the virus. When they told me that the nurse had just left the house and that Dad was positive for COVID-19, I still never thought that this would later be the outcome. I just thought, well Dad’s going to be sick for a couple of weeks and then he will be fine.  

I was staying at a friend’s house when Mom called to tell me that Dad was positive. She told me not to come home because she didn’t want me to get it. I said OK. Well, that was on a Sunday. On July 23 Mom called to tell me Dad was taken to the hospital by ambulance because he was having a hard time breathing. That’s when I told her I was coming home. I knew it wasn’t good. A short time later they called my mom to come get him, saying that it was just part of the virus. So it didn’t make sense and still doesn’t. He was a 70-year-old man that was COVID positive and he had [exposure to] asbestos, and the hospital still sent him home.  

Two days later, on July 25, he left by ambulance and was really confused, out of it, and couldn’t breathe. He was placed on life support and fought as hard as he could. From the time he tested positive to the time of death was two weeks and five days. That’s how fast it took my dad.  

This is truly heart breaking and I just want people to know how serious this really is. I wish I would have been more serious because it hit so close to home for me. The hospital should have never sent him home being positive and elderly.  

This is something for my dad because he was a God-fearing man who’s now watching down on us. Here’s a poem for my father, William Laney. I love and miss you so much. 


His Journey’s Just Begun 

Don’t think of him as gone away, 

His journey’s just begun. 

Life holds so many facets, 

This Earth is only one. 


Just think of him as resting 

From the sorrows and the tears 

In a place of warmth and comfort 

Where there are no days and years. 


Think how he must be wishing 

That we could know today 

How nothing but our sadness 

Can really pass away. 


And think of him as living 

In the hearts of those he touched… 

For nothing loved is ever lost 

And he was loved so much. 

— Ellen Brenneman 

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